'Atlantic' Reporter Blames Netanyahu for Poor U.S.-Israel Relations

Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, The Atlantic's national correspondent Jeff Goldberg acknowledged poor U.S.-Israel relations and proceeded to blame Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for causing the rift: "I've never seen an Israeli prime minister mismanage the relationship with the United States or with the administration the way this prime minister has." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Goldberg admitted: "Obama's not blameless. The first year, the peace process was a disaster." However, he then continued to lambast Netanyahu: "...one person here is the senior partner, one is the – the junior partner, and Netanyahu has turned this into a story about himself and Obama, rather than the important thing."

New York Republican Congressman Peter King immediately shot down Goldberg's assertion: "...the fact is the Israeli government does not trust the American government....The fact is there is not a trust between the Israeli prime minister and the American president."

Moderator David Gregory then sought to escalate the debate: "Do you double down on the comment that this President has thrown Israel under the bus?" King replied: "He has not shown – yes, I will. In the context of politics, yes, he has, absolutely."

Gregory teed up Goldberg's criticism of Netanyahu by fretting over the Israeli leader's supposed "interference in our election." In an interview with Netanyahu aired earlier on the program, Gregory interrogated the Prime Minister about such "interference."


Here is a portion of the September 16 exchange:

11:20AM ET

(...)

DAVID GREGORY: What about this interference in our election [by Benjamin Netanyahu]? I'm curious about that from both of you, because he takes on – well, I – I pressed him on that charge.

JEFF GOLDBERG: Well, there's – there's two issues. One is a legitimate issue, which is this debate over red lines. This is the debate that Obama and Netanyahu should have, a discussion, in private. And – and that's – that's legitimate for – for Netanyahu to raise. What's illegitimate, and – and let me just put this as – as bluntly as I can. I've been watching the relationship between the U.S. and Israel for 20 years, more than 20 years, very seriously and I've never seen an Israeli prime minister mismanage the relationship with the United States or with the administration the way this prime minister has. Obama's not blameless. The first year, the peace process was a disaster. But, you know, one – one person here is the – one person here is the senior partner, one is the –  the junior partner, and Netanyahu has turned this into a story about himself and Obama, rather than the important thing.

PETER KING: No, I – I disagree. I'm – I'm not here to criticize our president. The fact is, in 2009 when he went to the Middle East and suggested a moral equivalency between the Iranians and the Israelis, when he was harping on – against the Israelis, the fact is the Israeli government does not trust the American government. And that's really the issue, not when the red line is going to be or where it's going to be. The fact is there is not a trust between the Israeli prime minister and the American president. And this is a President who'd come in saying he was going to restore harmony among nations, he was going to have better relationship with our overseas allies...

ANDREA MITCHELL: But-

KING: ...and adversaries.

GREGORY: Do you double down on the comment that this President has thrown Israel under the bus?

KING: He has not shown – yes, I will. In the context of politics, yes, he has, absolutely.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC